Interac Online – New Payment Method

As you probably have noticed, we now are able to take Interac Online on the site as another payment method.  It’s something that we have actually been considering for a while; but it’s taken a bit to get the system running.  It’s taken much longer than I would have liked (as in, missing the Christmas rush) to get it up; but there are reasons for that.

Interac Online – Only Valid for 4 Banks

Before I get into that, I just wanted to clarify that Interac Online is only valid for the following banks:

  • BMO (Bank of Montreal)
  • Scotiabank
  • RBC
  • TD Canada Trust

All other banks and financial institutions do not support the system as yet.  It’s one of the reasons we hesistated on adding it for so long.  Hopefully, the other banks will integrate themselves soon.

The Process

Getting Interac set-up takes quite a bit of work when it’s an online system.  Here’s an abbreviated list of steps:

  • Apply for and be approved for an Interac account
  • Find and purchase an Interac Online Module
  • Install module on staging site
  • Test module for errors / compatibility issues and fix
  • Request Interac approval of IP address and Interac URLs on staging site
  • Check and fix errors
  • Send required documentation to Interac Online for approval
  • Fix error / requirements
  • Receive approval for staging
  • Request Interac approval for new Interac URLs on production
  • Go live, check for problems
  • Fix new problems on production site that wasn’t viable to test on staging
  • Finally go live (again) with finished product

Yup, that’s a lot of points and work.  And at least 90% of that requires development time.  Truthfully, if I had known how much time this would have taken (and cost!); I’d never have bothered to go ahead with this project.  The sheer volume of work (and most of it make work too) and the complex procedures has wiped out any potential cost savings of going live with this project (and then some!)

It’s no real wonder that most sites haven’t bothered to integrate Interac.  Between the large amount of work involved integrating an approved module into your site and the limited use, I doubt Interac Online will become a common payment method.  At least not till it gets fixed.

Ah well, it’s live now and the cost is sunk.